Welcome to The Homeschool Edit, a monthly list of homeschool resources curated by me, a homeschool parent. Each month, I’ll share my favorite books, websites, and other resources that I’ve found helpful in our homeschooling journey. Whether you’re a beginning homeschooler or a seasoned pro, I hope you’ll find something here that inspires you!
Thanks for stopping by!
It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of January. People always talk about how long January feels, but it just flew by for us. We’ve been so busy with our Hero’s Journey project and I’ve been busy writing that we’ve barely noticed the time go by. Plus, we’ve had friends join us for homeschooling a couple of times a week, which has made the days fly by.
Right now as I’m writing, the kids are cleaning up their mess and vacuuming the house while I tackle ALL the laundry. It really is neverending, but this weekend our goal is to prep our house for the Lunar New Year. It’s a big deal for us and you can read more about it in my latest article.
Do any of you celebrate the Lunar New Year? I’d love to learn about your traditions! Be sure to leave a comment below! 👇
What we’ve been studying
This month we revisited the monomyth or The Hero’s Journey. I’ve touched on it in the past but thought it’d be good to dive in a little deeper since my oldest son has been enjoying the creative writing program he’s been using.
Resources we used:
- Night Zookeeper – My son has been loving this creative writing program. He creates his own characters online, writes detailed stories about them from prompts, and learns grammar and spelling through games and puzzles. The online tutors review his stories and encourages him to edit his work.
- The Hero’s Guidebook – Quick read that breaks down the monomyth in bit-sized, understandable pieces for middle schoolers and beyond.
- Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1 and Tales from the Odyssey, Part 2 – The Odyssey is really not appropriate for kids, but Mary Pope Osborne of Magic Tree House fame has retold the story in a very entertaining and child-friendly manner. I highly recommend this series for your kids.
- What Makes a Hero? – Well done overview by educator Matthew Winkler on TED-ed.
- The Hero’s Journey lesson plan – Like recipes, I use other people’s lesson plans as inspiration. I created a simple Google Form for him to identify the stages of Dr. Grant’s journey in Jurassic park, and then I plan on having my son storyboard the film in a graphic organizer like this one.
- Jurassic Park Hero’s Journey – This Shmoop guide was a great reference for me.
What we’ve been reading
Libraries are closed again in our town, so we haven’t been reading as much as we used to.
I recently allowed my oldest son to watch The Simpsons, and he’s now obsessed.
A fun easy reader for the littles.
My little ones are into space right now.
I’m cool with my kids reading twaddle.
My eldest son has been reading this to help his brother fall asleep.
What we’ve been listening to
- Wow in the World – A classic in our household!
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – My youngest son keeps falling asleep while his big brother reads, so he relistens to what he missed.
Have you heard of The Kid Should See This? It’s a blog by Rion Nakaya who carefully scours the internet in search of educational and kid-friendly videos. She features them on her blog and if you subscribe to her newsletter, you’ll get either a daily or weekly list of videos that she recommends. I recently became a member so she can continue offering this awesome resource for free and without ads.
Pandia Press, one of our favorite secular curriculum developers is coming out with a History Quest United States book later this year. In the meantime, you can download the Elections and the Voter chapter from their upcoming book.
Another book I’m looking forward to receiving is Julie Bogart’s, Raising Critical Thinkers. It comes out on February 1, 2022, and if you preorder now, you can get a Pre-Order Bonus from Julie. You can also join her launch day zoom celebration if you’re super excited about the book.
On my nightstand
I’m rereading this one for my local Wild + Free group. It’s a good one and part of my top 10 must-reads for new homeschoolers.
I’ve always been drawn to Project-Based Learning and looking forward to seeing how I can better apply it to our homeschool.
So fun! Reminds me of the Practical Magic series without the magic.
What I’ve been listening to
- Deep Cover: Mob Land – Season 2 is about Bob Cooley, a defense lawyer and fixer for Chicago’s mobsters. I’m tempted to get a subscription just so I can finish the season.
- Climate Cuisine – Clarissa Wei, one of my favorite food journalists, examines how staple crops grown in similar climates and biomes are grown, prepared, and consumed by different cultures.
- Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas – This podcasts looks at the rise and fall of organized crime through the eyes of those that were in the thick of it. It’s fun to listen to as I have many memories of vacationing in Las Vegas in the 80s with my parents, and if I knew even half of the stuff that had been happening back then…👀 😬
- The Big Steal – I’m sure you’re well aware of the growing tension between Russia, the Ukraine, and NATO. Listen to this podcast to learn more about Putin and his regime.
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Wishing you abundance and good health this Lunar New Year!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.